It doesn’t matter whether it’s just for a semester, one year, or the whole degree, living abroad will definitely and inevitably change you.
Before, I couldn’t have imagined living away from my family, away from my home, where everything is easy (read: laundry days become nightmares), but now, I can’t even imagine coming back.
Suddenly, you realize you have at least two homes (three in my case) and each one is in a different country. Your passport becomes your best friend and your heart gets divided into parts, where there is space for everyone and everything.
I think we all in a certain moment in our life re-think and evaluate all the decision we have made and how thy influenced us.
When you start living abroad, the items on your “list” of priorities can be moved around. Undeniably, your priorities can change, you will do an unintended cleanse of people in your life and will focus more on yourself and what it is that you want to achieve.
There are no limits abroad (ok, well, in general, some … money, language, your background) … when it comes to your personal development. Moreover, you will appreciate your friends, family, and home more, since every moment spent with them will become a pleasure and not a routine anymore.
You will (never) learn how to pack
Now, let’s have a look at this less serious aspect of studying abroad (enough of the thinking-about-life-talks).
I don’t even want to try to count how many times I have already packed and unpacked my bags since starting at the University of Worcester.
It is quite challenging to pack your whole life into one or two pieces of luggage. And that is when the real struggle comes. What if I have to spend abroad more than one season of the year (which is usually the case)?
Ok, by any miracles you finally manage to squeeze all your winter jacket, dresses and raincoat in your luggage, but are still leaving at least 2/3 of your wardrobe home (girls will understand how sad this moment is).
All this was so hard that you promise yourself never to go through this again, but there you are in 2 months time already packing again.
I have come up to a conclusion that the more you travel, the less attention you pay to the details and the more you tend to forget necessary things (or is it just me? Haha).
No wonder the first word that usually comes up to everyone’s mind when talking about Erasmus or Study Abroad is ‘Experience’.
You will meet many new people, make new friends from all over the world (there are some perks about this one, haha), gain a valuable knowledge, explore other countries, preferably learn a new language or accent, appreciate home even more and most importantly will gain an international experience.
Not only, experience from a different cultural and academic background looks good on your CV, it will also advance your professional development.
You shouldn’t seriously be considering studying abroad, you should go for it if you still can. Because, after all, what is there to lose? When your exchange (or 3 years in the case of us, Internationals) are over, you would only be wishing it wasn’t that short…